Difference between revisions of "Michael New"
Revision as of 08:19, 24 June 2010
Michael G. New was an American soldier who objected to wearing United Nations insignia as part of his military uniform during a deployment in 1995 to the Republic of Macedonia as part of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force. Michael New objected to changing his allegiance from the United States to the United Nations ("U.N."). When Michael New enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 1993, he took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and no recruiter or officer mentioned serving under U.N. command.
But on May 3, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD-25). This ordered submission of American troops to multilateral peace operations. In July, Michael New was assigned to Germany, 3rd Infantry Division, and his company was told it would be sent to Macedonia as part of a "peacekeeping" mission. In August 1995 Michael New was informed that his unit must wear part of the U.N. uniform.
This new uniform included a blue U.N. cap and a U.N. armband or patch sewn on one shoulder and a blue U.N. beret, in addition to an ordinary United States army outfit. New reported for his formation without these U.N. uniform features, and he was removed by his superiors and eventually court-martialed for disobedience under 10 U.S.C. § 892(2) (any person who, "having knowledge of any ... lawful order issued by a member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order ... shall be punished as a court-martial may direct"). New argued in his defense that the order was unlawful and unconstitutional. Specifically, U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 9 prohibits any person's acceptance of any emolument from a foreign state without congressional consent. New also argued that the entire deployment as part of a United Nations force was unlawful.
The military judge and American courts all rejected New's arguments and held that the legality of the deployment was a nonjusticiable political question. New received a bad-conduct discharge. New has continued to challenge this in the court system.